Two Poems by Louie Crew

The poet Louie Crew (a/k/a “Quean Lutibelle”) is an Emeritus professor of English at Rutgers University, and a widely published advocate for GLBT Christians in the Episcopal Church. He has kindly permitted me to reprint the two poems below, which were recently featured in issue #99 of Caught in the Net, a poetry newsletter from the UK-based writers’ resource site The Poetry Kit. Thanks also to The Poetry Kit’s Jim Bennett for permission.
Check out Louie’s list of recommended poetry publishers here.

Don’t Hang Up

Don’t hang up,
I’m not a heckler.
I NEED your help
but I can’t tell you my name.
I’m in a phone booth
while mom buys groceries,
so I won’t take long.
I heard your talk show
and I’m scared. Last summer,
when I was just thirteen,
I balled with a guy
I met at the bus station.
Now I’ve got these purple spots
all down my stomach.
I drink five shakes a day
and I have lost fifteen pounds
in just three months!
I’m afraid to go to our doctor
cause he’s my dad.
He’d beat the shit out of me
for liking guys.
Can you tell me somebody else
to call?
Cripes! Here comes mom. Bye!



My one earring stores my powers.
It charms my lover into bed.
Worn aisle-side on buses and trains,
it reserves me a double seat
    until all others are filled.
On campus it keeps me off all
but the most enlightened committees.
It is 99% foolproof in protecting me
from wasting time on racists.
At times it has made otherwise sane folks
dangle from dormitory windows to giggle,
“Where’s your husband?”
Worn with a cap and gown, it wards off
any threat of Respectability.
In class, it assures that students question
what I say and not vainly agree
because of who said it.
In church, it has made stranger priests
spill me a double portion of the Mass….
When I take it off, people take me
for any other mortal.

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